Difference between sequential and state machine workflow in SharePoint

This SharePoint 2013 tutorial explains, the difference between sequential and state machine workflow in SharePoint. In SharePoint, you can use both sequential workflows as well as state machine workflows.  It really depends on the business process whether we have to go for a Sequential workflow or State Machine workflow.

Difference between state machine and sequential workflow

Now we will see the difference between the state machine and a sequential workflow in SharePoint.

Also learn Difference between designer workflow and visual studio workflows

Sequential Workflow in SharePoint

  • It looks very simple like a flow chart.
  • Steps within the workflow execute sequentially, one after another in the particular order.
  • A sequential workflow always progresses forward, never going back to a previous step.
  • Sequential workflows are definitely much easier to design and maintain.

State machine Workflow in SharePoint

  • A sequential workflow executes in no particular order and these are based on events like OnTaskCreated, OnTaskDeleted etc.
  • A sequential workflow moves from one state to another until the logic concludes the workflow has completed.
  • Compared to Sequential workflows State machine workflows are difficult to design and maintain.
  • In order to move to another event, the workflow needs to meet another state.
  • The workflow doesn’t really have to end. It can stay in the same state for weeks.
  • Visual studio provides both a Sequential Workflow and State Machine workflow. But in SharePoint designer, you can only make sequential workflows.

You may like following SharePoint workflow tutorials:

I hope this tutorial helps to learn the difference between the state machine and sequential workflow in SharePoint.

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